Washington Dulles airport was built with the intention of it being isolated and far away from the madding crowd in Washington DC. Thirty years ago it was often a pain to have to pay for the boring toll road out of DC to Dulles in order to catch international flights. The Dulles toll road ran almost from the steps of the State Department, past CIA HQ in Langley then on a seemingly neverending, boring highway to far distant Dulles. It was perfect for government types and big shots because they could take advantage of a long limo ride away from the congestion of National (Reagan) Airport.
I was shocked to see how much the area around Dulles has changed over those 30 years. Talk about "urban sprawl"! It's unreckognizable. I was told it is very reminiscent of Silicon Valley now - with modern high-rise office building and blocks upon blocks of townhouses littering the once rolling farms and meadows. In the weekend we spent in that area I never once caught a glimpse of the actual airport. Just too many shopping centers, business headquarters and cookie cutter homes.
But in this morass of conformity we were very very pleased to find accomodations at the reasonably priced, yet elegant Dulles Westin. From the moment we pulled into the curved driveway this place exuded class. Not stuffy, but efficient, friendly and modern trappings for the business and leisure visitor. The doorman, the front desk staff and the bartenders on the ground floor entrance made our initial impression very positive with their smiles and willingness to accomodate. By joining the Westin frequent visitor club (which we will probably never use again) we acquired two free passes to the over-priced breakfast buffet.
Our rooms were well-maintained, modern, spacious and comfortable. You would never know there was an airport nearby. We never heard any planes until we walked outside the hotel. There was plenty of free parking, although the setup was somewhat inconvenient: the lot was a multi-level garage that required guests to take one elevator down to the ground level near the many ballrooms, then walk through the lobby, then down another corridor to the elevator bank for the rooms. Kind of a pain with lots of luggage and a dog.
Oh yeah, the second floor is dog friendly. You do have to put down a refundable deposit, but you are allowed to bring your pets with you. It is a testament to the maid service that this super allergic guest had no problems with previous pets' dander or "deposits". Considering the fact that it had been used on previous occassions by other visitors' pets, there was no indication of any messes or damage. Very clean.
For airport travelers the Westin has 4 different shuttle buses. It seemed there was always one available in the front driveway.
Other than the strange parking lot set-up, the only other minor gripe was the difficulty in finding the Westin. There is no signage in the area, I suppose to mainatain the "beauty" of the locale, but our GPS was able to direct us there eventually. Without a GPS we'd still be looking.
Stay off the second floor if you don't need to bring your pet.
Unless you get it free, pass...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.